Signs a Senior Citizen May Need Help with Daily Living

As we age we become more prone to physical and mental disease. According to the National Council on Aging, “approximately 92 percent of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 77 percent have at least two.” Many times the signs and symptoms of these diseases go unnoticed and untreated. Identifying the signs that your loved one may need help with day-to-day activities is hard to spot if you don’t know what to look for.

 

While the loss of some independence is uncomfortable for many when they become aware that they need daily assistance, in-home healthcare can be one of the best ways to keep your loved one safe and healthy.  

The first step toward determining if in-home healthcare is right for your loved one is by recognizing the warning signs of various, widespread ailments senior citizens face:

  1. Suddenly gaining weight. If you notice a sudden increase in weight without a changed diet, some insidious factors might be at play. From thyroid conditions to sudden onset diabetes, weight gain is an indicator that something may not be right.
  2. Loss of hearing or vision. Occasionally overlooked because some may think these issues are part of the natural aging process, without addressing the root cause things can go from bad to worse quickly. Since the loss of hearing or vision can come on slowly, seniors may not notice the deterioration and decide to get behind the wheel to pick up groceries. This simple drive to the grocery store just became a dangerous trek for both your loved one and others on the road. Having an in-home healthcare professional to help with daily tasks such as picking up medications or going to the grocery store vastly improves the safety of not only your loved one but others in the community, as well.
  3. Confusion and difficulty with memory recall. Signs for this may be as simple as your loved one forgetting where they are or how they got there, your name, what year it is, and a number of other “simple” memory recall tasks. There are harder signs to catch, though, if you aren’t paying attention. Are they able to take their medication on time and know when to refill their prescriptions? Are they frequently (or even infrequently) forgetting to turn the oven off? Are they eating well? Is the fridge full of expired food? If any of these sound familiar, your loved one may need daily assistance.

Though the list of warning signs goes on, the best defense is being active in your loved one’s life and simply taking note of any new changes or challenges in their daily living habits. If you do notice anything, however minor, it’s better to err on the side of caution and make an appointment with a doctor.

Depending on the outcome of the doctor’s appointment, the best way to keep your loved one safe and healthy might be by hiring an in-home healthcare professional. If you have any questions about the services an in-home healthcare company can provide (beyond peace of mind for you), please contact us and we will answer all of your questions and help guide you every step of the way to ensure a comfortable transition tailored to the specific needs of your loved one.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay under Creative Commons 0 license